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Polygon Wood centenary commemoration













Kenneth E. Lebl
862nd Bomber Squadron, 493rd Bomber Group Heavy

July 14, 2013
After my visit at the Brittany American Cemetery in Saint-James, France in June of 2013 I was having my doubts about adopting a grave here as it was quite a distance from home. But since I visit Normandy at least once a year and the Saint-James cemetery is not far from the landing beaches in Normandy, I decided to adopt one. After my application, the responsible told me there are still a lot of graves to adopt so I enlisted for a second grave there too. This man is on the Tablets of the missing in Saint-James:

Kenneth Eugene Lebl
Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army Air Force
Service # O-710284
862nd Bomber Squadron, 493rd Bomber Group, Heavy
Entered service from: Illinois


493rd Bomber Group Heavy

2nd lieutenant

Born: April 29, 1921
Hometown: Cook County (Illinois)

Died: June 6, 1944
Status: Missing in action or buried at sea

Buried in: Tablets of the missing, Brittany American Cemetery Saint-James, France
Awards: Air Medal, Purple Heart

Family
Married to: single
Children: none
Father: Jerry C. Lebl
Mother: Estella Schultz
Brothers: none
Sisters: none

More info
Kenneth Lebl was a crew member (navigator) in a Liberator B-24. He was part of the aircraft with serial number 42-94789 which was nicknamed "Moby Dick".
The aircraft took part in the first mission from the 862nd Bomber Squadron, 493rd Bomber Group (Heavy), also nicknamed "Heltons Hellcats". That first mission took place on June 6, 1944 and their target was to bomb Lisieux (France), but the thick clouds prevented all 36 Liberators to drop their bombs so they returned with them.
Around 10h28 at about 11.000 feet above the Channel the "Moby Dick" collided with another Liberator B-24, nicknamed "No Love No Nothin" with serial number 44-40471. The "No Love No Nothin" appeared to have hit the tail of the "Moby Dick". Both planes disappeared in the overcast and crashed into sea.
Lt. Donald Russell was the pilot of the B-24 in which Kenneth Lebl was a crew member. All 10 crew members died in the crash. In the "No Love No Nothin" 9 were killed, 1 became a POW.

 






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Sources

- http://www.abmc.gov
- http://www.wwiimemorial.com
- http://www.wwiimemorial.com tablets of the missing
- http://www.findagrave.com
- http://www.findagrave.com
- Andi Hunting
- Cynthia De Bock
- Rudy Kenis
- Heather Cristman


Any information you can provide me about this soldier, can be mailed to me (nicklieten@hotmail.com). Thank you!